I'm really shy. Morbidly shy.
(I'll give you a moment or two to stop your snickering.)
Sure, when I'm around close friends and family, it's hard to shut me up. But if I'm in a crowd where I don't know anyone, or if I'm alone with someone I either barely know or don't know at all, I become extremely introverted. I clam up. If I speak, the conversation is trite, small.
I come across looking and sounding like an idiot.
Not so yesterday.
Yesterday, I took a deep breath and stepped outside my comfort zone. I put my shyness aside and just did it. I talked to a complete stranger and asked if I could take a photograph of her.
It all started when I caught my bus from work and headed downtown. The afternoon bus wasn't very crowded, and so finding a seat was not an issue. I like to sit alone because I don't want to run the risk of having to speak to anyone.
I'm shy, after all.
When I stepped on the STO bus and worked my way down the aisle, my eyes instantly fell on a young woman sitting by herself. She had a young, pretty face, but what struck me immediately was her hair. Or, should I say, what was in her hair.
This young lady, dressed in a black corsette and plaid skirt, had almost a colourful Medusa-like headpiece of red, silver, black, and some green tubes that had silver spirals and seemed to be held into place with a head band. Almost like thick, cylindrical ribbons. And lots of them.
I sat on the bus and tried to keep to myself, but my eyes kept falling on this girl. I could only see her from behind, so all I could see was this mass of colour. And, between looking at her head and thinking about what I wanted to do for today's blog post, the answer was almost a no-brainer.
I wanted to take a photo of this woman.
There was only one problem: I'm horribly, horribly shy. There was no way that I could summon the courage to talk to her, let alone ask her if I could take a picture of her. I mean, what would she think of some middle-aged man approaching her, saying, "Excuse me, miss. Your look is unusual: can I take a picture of you?"
I could picture her calling me "perv" and calling out for help.
And so I though about how I would approach her.
I looked in my backpack and checked to make sure my Canon point-and-shoot was charged and had space. Yes and yes. I searched for my little metal case that contains my business cards for The Brown Knowser. Check. And so I thought I would approach her slowly, gently, and apologize for bothering her. I would identify myself, tell her that I am a local blogger, and let her know that I found her headpiece fascinating. I asked her if she made it herself and if there was some occasion than made her decide to wear it.
She was friendly and willing to talk. She said that she did, in fact, make the piece herself. She added that she likes to dress up this way when she meets with her friends.
And so I gathered more courage and asked the all-important question: "Would it be all right if I took your photo?" I handed her my business card, adding, "I will be adding it as a post tomorrow."
She let me take two pictures: one, with my pocket camera; the other, with my iPhone.
I took my shots and thanked her. I didn't ask for her name; we said nothing more. But after we parted ways, more questions popped into my head. I wondered if she had more headpieces, and what they looked like. I had ideas for other photos, wished that I had actually posed her, thought about the background. I wished I had had my D-SLR.
So I hope that this young lady does read the post. I hope she likes the photos. And, if she has more pieces for making a fashion statement, I hope she contacts me. Maybe I could shoot something for a Wordless Wednesday?
And I could thank her for helping me get over my shyness. Though I think I still might be shy.